4. Change Formatting Defaults for Text

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Text can be formatted exactly to suit your needs so that placeholders, textboxes and shapes all format text in a consistent way. This can save you a huge amount of time when creating slides.

Lesson Notes

Change text placeholder format

- Go to Slide Master and make changes in size and color to the text placeholder
- Now create new text placeholders and the new formatting will be adopted
- For report writing, set a smaller default size, <20pts
- For presenting to an audience, set a bigger size, >30pts


Setting the default textbox


- New textboxes should have the same formatting we used in the placeholder
1 Create a new textbox
2 Select the desired font color and size in this textbox
3 Select the text-box, right-click and select Set as Default
Note: This also applies to default shapes


In PowerPoint, the default text placeholder has a black-colored text with decreasing size from 32 down to 20.

We can change this quite easily, from the Home tab in the ribbon, using the Font and Paragraph sections.

Let's say, for example, I'd like to change the color of the text to the dark blue from my logo.

I'll simply select the placeholder, select the dark blue, and now that change is made.

Because I've made that change in the Master Slide, if we scroll through the other layouts, you can see that they inherit the dark blue as well.

We can also change the size of the text within placeholders.

Let's say we want to change the size of the text to 20 pixels.

I'm not a fan of varying the size of the text according to a hierarchy, so I'll simply select the full placeholder, write 20 and press Enter, and this changes the text accordingly.

A size of 20 works very well, if we tend to write reports in PowerPoint and we're happy to put lots of content on one slide.

If I'm presenting to a group, it's likely I'll need a much bigger default text size, such as 30 or 40.

In this scenario, although the Master Slide has been changed to a new text size, not all of our layouts inherit this text size.

Let's say we scroll down to this slide, you'll see that it maintains its default size.

If you'd like to change this placeholder, you'll need to do it manually by clicking on the placeholder, and setting the size to 20.

Once you've decided on the correct size and the correct font color for you text placeholders, it's important to create the default text box, in the same format.

To do this, we'll leave the Slide Master, and we’ll close the Master View.

We'll click on a slide, and create a text box.

And when I start typing in the text box, you'll see that the default text color is black and the size is 18.

Let's select the text box, set the size to 20, as we had in the placeholder, and we'll set the color to the same dark blue.

I'll then right click on the text box and Set as Default Text Box.

When I now create a new text box in the future, it will inherit the same size and font color, as the previous text box.

As you can imagine, these small changes can save you a lot of time when formatting text in your slides.

Needless to say, if a slide does require different colors and sizes of texts, you can change them by clicking in the text box and making the changes to the text size and the text color.

It's also worthwhile creating default shapes.

I tend to use a lot of boxes with a white background and dark blue text.

When we create a new shape, you'll notice that the default setting colors my box in a dark blue color.

I'll fill this box with white and I'll change this font color to a dark blue.

I'll also change the size to 20, like we have in our text box and our placeholders.

When I now type in the shape, you can see that it has the exact same format as the text box we created earlier.

To set as the default shape, we simply select the shape, right click and Set as Default Shape.

If we now create a circle or any other shape, it will inherit this particular format.

When we now create a text box, type in a text placeholder, or type within a shape, our text formatting will be totally consistent, in the same dark blue color and of size 20 pixels.

Although this takes a little bit of work to set up, these defaults will save you lots of time in the future when creating slides and ensure design consistency.